Fiona Graham, Head of Content   17 December 2015

This is not the Tatooine you are looking for.... And definitely not in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Photo: Darryl Moran on flickr

Tatooine - home planet of Luke and his father Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars films and, amazingly, one of WorldRemit’s network of agents.

This is where Luke met Obi Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookie. Jabba the Hut set up his lair, and brave travellers stop off at the spaceports of Mos Eisley and Mos Espa. 

The planet appears in five of the six films that preceded Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened in cinemas around the world this week.

Here at WorldRemit we like to think we let our customers send money to familiy and friends in the most remote places.

That includes the real-life Tatooine through our local partner Banque de Habitat.

This Tatouine is a city in southern Tunisia Photo: Stefan Krasowski on flickr

Rather than being in a galaxy far, far away - Tatooine is a desert city in south-eastern Tunisia.

But it’s no coincidence that they share a name - George Lucas named the planet after the town, although it’s more usually transcribed from the Arabic as Tataouine. 

He chose the name while on location shooting the very first film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in Tunisia. 

Filming for the prequels and the original Star Wars films took place in the country, although not for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

So to celebrate off-world money transfer and the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, here are a few things you might not know about Tatooine both real and imagined.

1. Tataouine is a city of nearly 96,000 in southern Tunisia. It’s the capital of the Tataouine Governorate or region. Around 60% of the population are Berbers

The centre of the real city of Tataouine in Tunisia. Photo: Phil Heck on flickr

2. It is home to the Festival of the Ksour Saharien, which celebrates Berber culture. The area is famous for their underground cave homes and ksours - or fortified granaries.

3. It’s these buildings and caves that originally attracted both tourists and filmmakers to the region, although nothing was shot in the city itself.

4. Just 22km down the road lies Ksar Ouled Soltane. The Berber granaries were used as slave quarters in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, along with granaries in the town of Medenine, which served as the exterior of Anakin Skywalker’s home with his mother, Shmi.

“If there’s a bright centre to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.” - Luke Skywalker describes Tatooine. Picture: joansorolla CC 2.0

5. Tatooine the planet was originally going to be called Utapau. Naboo was also called Utapau in early drafts - the planet finally appeared in Revenge of the Sith. 

6. Other locations in Tunisia include the Mos Espa set, built for the prequels. Left in place when filming ended, it has become a tourist attraction.

The Mos Espa set. Photo: Bonnie Craven Francis on flickr

7. You can stay the night in Luke Skywalker’s childhood home. 

The interior of the Lars Homestead where he lived with his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen is now a hotel in the town of Matmata

The pair were moisture farmers on the dry world, and met a sticky end early on in the first film, the sight of their charred bodies burned into the nightmares of generations of children.

The hotel has a Star Wars themed menu, with some props left in place left onsite. Photo: Stefan Krasowski on flickr

8. Heading towards the Algerian border and Chott el Djerid you can also visit the exterior - the igloo famously outlined in Episode IV: A New Hope by the setting of the planet’s two suns. 

This was constructed specially for the original trilogy on the dry salt lake, and then reconstructed for the the prequels.

It fell into a state of disrepair before being rebuilt following a fundraising campaign by a group of Star Wars fans in 2012.

Star Wars fans will recognise this as the exterior of the Lars homestead. Photo: Stefan Krasowski on flickr

9. The island of Djerba was, according to legend, the island of the Lotus eaters. 

It’s also home to the site of the Mos Eisley cantina, in the city of Ajim in the south of the island. 

Obi Wan Kenobi’s home is also on the island, and is now used as storage by local fishermen.

The Mos Eisley cantina looks like business has slowed right down. Photo: Stephan Krasowski on Flickr

 

10. Should those hailing from Tataouine wish to send money home to cover the cost of a new droid, or to bail out the boyfriend the next time he gets himself frozen in carbonite, you can send money to the Banque de l’Habitat in Tataouine - and other locations across Tunisia using WorldRemit.

May the force be with you.

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